AFGANISTAN/DEARBORN - Darrin Ridenour has been serving in the U.S. military for 28 years. He began his military career in the Marines for a six year enlistment and has been in the Army for the past 22 years. To date, Ridenour has been deployed 10 times. His most recent position is as a Chief Warrant Officer 3, Senior Supply Systems technician, in Afghanistan which he started on Sept. 9, 2011.
Ridenour is in charge of managing a 30 acre yard that contains several thousand vehicles, with an estimated value of $6 billion (some of the vehicles are valued at $1.6 million each) and a secondary yard that has about 53 acres of additional equipment.
"It is my duty to keep track of all these vehicles, prep them for shipment, ensure the correct paperwork is done and figure out shipping transportation back to the U.S.," he said.
Ridenour will return to Dearborn Truck Plant (DTP) when he comes home in September 2012. He is an electrician leader in Central Maintenance where he tracks electrical projects throughout the plant. He started work at Ford in December 1995.
"Ford has always been a stand alone company; we all have our ups and downs, but [Ford] always pulls through when it gets tough."
That is why Ridenour is happy to report that the vehicle the Army gave him to use is an F-150 from DTP.
"I saw the sticker and said, no way, this was made at my plant!"
Ridenour's truck is not the only one that was made at DTP. There have been about 30 DTP F-150s that have come through his yard. These trucks are used inside the yard so the soldiers that are doing patrols, and other tasks outside the wire, are able to use the tactical vehicles.
His enthusiasm and pride for Ford has been noticed by those he works with, including Mike Longfellow-Jones, manager, Manufacturing Planning.
"Darrin is a dedicated employee that goes above and beyond to find a workable solution no matter what he is faced with. He has been responsible for much of the gain in energy savings to the plant scorecard and often utilizes his own time to research ideas that he then brings into the workplace. Just as one example, the many LED lights that we are experimenting with here at DTP that were put together with the guidance and hands of Darrin and his team," said Longfellow-Jones.
Ford thanks Ridenour and those Ford employees serving in the military for their continued commitment and hard work to both their country as well as Ford Motor Company.